The keyboard is pretty good for an 11.6-inch laptop. Despite the limited space, we found it extremely comfortable to use, and we were able to get a decent typing speed with a little practice. We would have preferred a slightly larger spacebar though, as we hit the Alt keys by mistake a few too many times. There’s also a little flex in the keyboard’s base, particularly in centre, but not enough to cause alarm.
The touchpad is decent enough, but it does have a couple of issues. Over time it collects greasy fingerprints that not only look unsightly, but also make the pad feel sluggish as your finger doesn’t run as smoothly across its surface. The touchpad is also a bit smaller than is comfortable, making gestures inconsistent to pull off.
You do get used to these things and the actual left and right clicking works well, which of course is the most important part of any touchpad, but it feels a little out of keeping with the rest of the laptop which is so solidly made.
As the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S is both a tablet and a laptop, it would be remiss not to mention how well it works as a tablet. The answer is pretty well: it’s a bit thicker than a regular dedicated tablet, but then this is very much its secondary function. Holding the IdeaPad in tablet mode feels a little strange because you can’t help but touch the keyboard on the back. Not a problem: they’re deactivated when the screen is flipped.
The big advantage it has over a regular tablet is that the keyboard doubles as a particularly sturdy stand. The IdeaPad Yoga’s impressive flexibility means that you can set the screen angle to pretty much any height you like, which is perfect for video viewing, or showing presentations.
The Lenovo Ideapad Yoga 11S is an impressive proposition for those who want a laptop and tablet in one, but would sooner carry one device. The fact you get a 256GB SSD and 8GB of RAM when most similar price laptops stick with 128GB and 4GB of RAM is nice, too. The battery life and performance falls a little short of the best ultrabooks, but it's a compelling alternative to other 11-inch laptops such as the 11-inch Apple MacBook Air.
The key question is whether you think a hybrid works for you, particularly given the scarcity of Windows 8 tablet apps. If not then the iPad 4 is still hard to beat in terms of app support and usability, but we’re also big fans of the Google Nexus 10 and Asus Transformer Pad Infinity, which offers a similar hybrid laptop experience - see our best tablets round-up for our picks.
And if you need a portable laptop more than a tablet then there are a couple of recent standout models we’d recommend, and both are over £100 cheaper: the Sony Vaio Pro 13 and the Samsung Series 7 Ultra NP740U3E - see our best laptops round-up for more alternatives
If you’re looking for both an ultrabook and a tablet, but don’t want too many devices kicking around, the IdeaPad Yoga 11S is a great solution. It’s powerful and fully featured, with great flexibility. There are better tablets and ultrabooks, but this is as good as we’ve seen in a hybrid.
For more options, head to our Best Windows 8 laptops and tablets round-up